The symbolic meaning
February 8th 2017
Many Christian and Jewish religions have gradually banned animal sacrifices, and cows and sheep are no longer burned on their altars. However, this idea of sacrifice by fire is still present in all religions, as not only candles but also incense are burned before the altar. Incense is matter given to the fire to be consumed, and in the process it releases a fragrance which pervades the atmosphere. On its own, burning incense has meaning only if the believer understands that this act is a reflection of psychic processes. What they themselves have to sacrifice, are their weaknesses, faults, vices, which are like a thick, murky substance. This substance must be transformed by delivering it to the divine fire, so that their soul emits fragrant emanations. Otherwise, why bother? Spreading the pleasant perfume of incense to the nostrils of the assistants, that’s fine, but it is not enough.